US President, Joe Biden has said he wouldn’t send American fighter jets to Ukraine, even as the United States ramps up military assistance in the form of artillery and tanks.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made it clear it would like to have fighter jets such as the F-16s in efforts to help sustain his war effort against Russia.
Biden’s statement yesterday seems to pour cold water on Ukraine’s high hope to get F-16 despite the U.S. announcing last week the approval of the transfer of M1 Abrams fighter tanks.
Yuriy Sak, an adviser to Ukraine’s defense minister has said last week: ‘We will get F-16s.’
Now on Monday, January 30, while at the White House South Lawn, Biden was asked by a reporter whether he would send F16 jets to Ukraine.
‘No,’ Biden swiftly responded.
Biden has consistently said the planes aren’t on the table, even as he has given aid in other areas.
F-16 jets will take the war to a whole different level as Ukraine can use fighter jets to launch invasive attacks in all areas of Russia barring Russian air defenses.
Last week, Biden announced he would send 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, despite top US officials saying the Ukranian military couldn’t maintain the battle tanks.
Biden also said to the reporter he wasn’t sure whether he would visit Europe next month for the first anniversary of the start of the war in Ukraine.
In response to a separate question, Biden said he was planning to visit Poland, but wasn’t sure when.
This comes as the White House explores the possibility of a Biden visit to Europe to mark 12 months since Russia invaded Ukraine.